Delhi News

Ashram flyover unknotted, Delhi cops fear choke point at Sarai Kale Khan | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: The extension of Ashram flyover in south Delhi was inaugurated, after missing several deadlines, by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday. Though the facility promises to ease vehicular movement between Noida and south Delhi, the traffic police are apprehensive of the vehicular choke point now shifting to Sarai Kale Khan.
The Ring Road near Sarai Kale Khan inter-state bus terminal sees heavy traffic throughout the day. With the flyover extension now providing a quick approach to east and north Delhi from south of the city, the stretch may buckle under the added load and the work going on to develop the spot as a transport hub.
Ongoing construction of the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System and a parallel flyover have already made Sarai Kale Khan a traffic chicken neck worsened by numerous buses entering and exiting the bus terminal. Pedestrians, among them construction workers, regularly cross Ring Road, further slowing traffic.
“Fast-moving vehicles on the new flyover, heavy vehicles on Ring Road and traffic coming from AIIMS on Barapullah elevated road all merge at the same point,” pointed out a traffic officer. “So, traffic is going to remain heavy at Sarai Kale Khan all the time.”
Flyover Out Of Bounds For Heavy Vehicles
The 1.4km extension of the existing flyover at Ashram, which took 32 months to complete and cost Rs 128 crore, will provide a direct route between the DND Flyway and AIIMS. At least 3.5 lakh vehicles pass through Ashram every day. On Monday, PWD opened the main extension road and the carriageway going towards Sarai Kale Khan, though the ramp between Sarai Kale Khan and Ashram is still under construction and may take over a month to complete. Heavy vehicles will not be permitted yet on the new flyover because of the presence of high-tension electricity wires passing above.
According to PWD officials, the high-tension wires hang above the two main ramps and could prove dangerous for heavy vehicles passing below. The agency has not yet asked Delhi Transco Limited to relocate the high-tension wires. PWD engineer-in-chief Anant Kumar said another organisation had to remove the wires. “But we ourselves have undertaken the task and hope to have done it by the end of this month. After that, heavy vehicles will also be allowed to drive on the flyover,” said Kumar.
At the inauguration, Kejriwal said there used to be long traffic jams in this area earlier, particularly during the office hours, and the extension of the flyover would bring relief to the lakhs of motorists who use the route every day. The CM added that only a few minor tasks were left to be finished before the flyover became fully operational.
Soon after the inauguration function got over, traffic was permitted from the DND Flyway towards Lajpat Nagar. The second ramp was opened around 5pm, the traffic police’s advisory said.
Some other works that remain to be completed included the construction of the central verge near the integration of the extension with the existing flyover, installation of road signage and the construction of the ramp for traffic coming from Sarai Kale Khan and bound for Ashram.
The erection of the RRTS piers at Sarai Kale Khan will take three more months, while work on the parallel flyover will only start at 2023-end. “Till all construction work is finished, the smotorists cannot expect the traffic movement to ease here,” said an officer of the Delhi traffic police.

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